PLEDGE NOW
When America First Met China

Tea, drugs, fortune and the 19th century high seas. We’ll look back to the exotic history of when America first met China.

William John Huggins - The opium ships at Lintin, China.

William John Huggins – The opium ships at Lintin, China.

America and China look at each other today as the two giants of a massively globalizing world.  Each wondering what the future brings.  Some answers may lie in the past.  When China was the grand, troubled empire.  When America was the whipper-snapper upstart.

Sailing clipper ships halfway round the world for China’s tea and porcelain.  Bringing furs and opium.  Taking desperate human labor – “coolies.”  Kowtowing and bullying. Making fortunes, and a legacy.

This hour, On Point:  When America first met China.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Eric Jay Dolin, author of the new book When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail.

Michael Hunt,  Everett H. Emerson Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Excerpt: When America First Met China

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 31, 2015
This July 30, 2014 photo shows Margerie Glacier, one of many glaciers that make up Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. With melting glaciers and rising seas as his backdrop, President Barack Obama will visit Alaska next week to press for urgent global action to combat climate change, even as he carefully calibrates his message in a state heavily dependent on oil. (AP Photo/Kathy Matheson)

The scramble for the Arctic. President Obama’s in Alaska. We’ll look at the stakes.

Aug 31, 2015
Oliver Sacks (Elena Seibert)

Oliver Sacks, celebrated neurologist and best-selling author, has died at 82. We’ll listen back to our remarkable 2013 interview with Oliver Sacks on life and aging.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

 
Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments